Meet Olive Upaupa, the young defender hoping to be a part of Lisa Cole’s final 23 at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup this November.
Upaupa had her first taste of competitive international football during PNG’s maiden home match against Japan. The experience of playing for Papua New Guinea is one that is hard for her to express.
The young woman of mixed East New Britain and East Sepik parentage is the latest crop of future footballers in PNG, and says the opportunity is one that she doesn’t take for granted.
While lacking the same experience as her team captain Yvonne Gabon, and striker Ramona Padio, Upaupa hopes that with what she has learnt can allow her to be better in the future.
Her role as a centre back in the lowest ranked nation in the upcoming World Cup will be a daunting task.
But she say’s it will be no different to the many negative comments that had come about after their dismal performance against both world champions Japan, and the United States.
Giving her best is all that Upaupa is hoping for, and come November her true test will come in front of her home country.